Nov 5, 2010

Maine windmill pushers make the rounds in Massachusetts

Susan Pude of the Island Institute's Maine Community Wind subsidiary has been making the rounds in the Bay State, promoting coastal and island windmills. Joined by  Dave McGlinchey of the environmental consulting firm Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, and others.
Disappointingly, in a recent Boston Globe article, Pude doesn't discuss the results of her efforts promoting windmills on the mainland - a resounding rejection by three towns at once. This may be a record; more importantly, residents of Camden, Hope and Rockport (1) got educated by reviewing the information presented them by the wind industry's supporters,(2) reached out to residents of other towns where windmill plans were being reviewed or had already passed or been rebuffed, (3) attended the meetings of Camden's mildly pro-wind energy committee and the town's governing body, listening respectfully and speaking on both points of fact and concerns over quality of life.

Residents of the three towns then decided they didn't want them, and made that clear to their town leaders. Democracy spake; the Camden Hills remain the scenic and wild asset that much of these towns' tourism and creative economies nestle around.

What is most striking about Pude and the other windpower boosters in the article is that, despite the fact pointed out in the article, that "...95 percent of wind power proposals fail to win local permitting approval..." Manomet and Island Institute - both of whom profit handsomely from their technical support on behalf of the wind industry - arrogantly see these civic decisions as impediments to be overcome. Overruled.

This damn-the-public,-full-speed-ahead position suggests that McGlinchey's & Pude's organizations' claims of serving "the public interest" - the basis of their non profit status- ought to be reevaluated. For the public is speaking loudly, while Manomet and Island Institute are feigning deafness to all but the clink of money.

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